Meal #33: Dinner

Steak and mushroom pie, Oriel College dinning hall, Oxford, UK

I’m always glad to turn up for dinner at the college and see traditional English dishes; it gives me hope that the food will actually be tasty.  Although this steak pie was not quite as good as the pork pie, it was still really tasty.  The chunks of steak were tender, the mushrooms were small and nice, and the gravy was thick and savory.  The crust on the top seemed like it was just too thick, and not flaky enough for my liking.  The potatoes were so-so, as always, and the veg was not too good.  The dessert was whipped cream with a very small amount of lemon custard mixed in randomly.  The salad was bad, and made worse by my mistake of trying the salad cream, yuck.  But the steak and mushroom pie was pretty tasty, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Meal #32: Lunch

Pepperoni and chorizo pizza, Tesco/Cara's Kitchen, Oxford, UK

Instead of eating out, we decided to all go back to Cara’s kitchen and make frozen pizzas.  It was a money-saving decision, not one based on taste or adventure.  I got this frozen pizza at the local Tesco grocery store for about £1.15 I think.  It wasn’t horrible, the chorizo was nice, but the whole thing was a little greasy, and kind of light on the cheese.  It was a good deal though, and eating with friends always makes the food taste better.

Meal #31: Dinner

Steak and kidney pudding, The King's Head, Salisbury, UK

After going to Stonehenge, we drove into Salisbury to get dinner.  Dr. Holbrook, my biology professor, suggested that we try The King’s Head.  It was a giant bar and restaurant.  Easily the biggest restaurant I’ve been to since arriving in England.  I ordered the steak and kidney pudding, with chips and peas.  The pudding was really nice.  It had a great gravy, and big chunks of steak inside.  I could have used more kidneys in there, as I only noticed one bite of kidney.  The crust was crispy and flaky, buttery and soft on the inside.  The chips and peas were run-of-the-mill but still tasty after a drizzle of gravy.  I really like English food when its actual English dishes.  All the pies, puddings, and pasties I’ve had have been wonderful, I don’t know why anyone would say that English food is bad!  It’s when they try to make something unusual or foreign that they get into trouble, so it seems to me.

Meal #30: Second Dinner

Double cheeseburger, McDonald's, London, UK

Mmmmmm, doesn’t that look amazing?  We were slightly hungry after our amazing Chinese food experience, so we stopped in at good ol’ Mickey-D’s for a quick snack.  It was essentially the same, but without mustard.  Apparently, English people don’t like mustard, so it doesn’t come automatically on the burgers.  A cheeseburger without mustard is a strange thing.

Meal #27: Second Dinner

Chips with all the best toppings, Posh Nosh kebab truck, Oxford, UK

It’s really hard not to get chips after a night out.  The truck is right there…. just calling my name.  Robbie and I got the exact same order without even knowing it!  Which strange because it’s a fairly complicated and diverse set of toppings, from a menu with endless possibilities.  I had chips with salt, vinegar, cheese, chicken, onions, garlic mayonnaise, and chili sauce.  I know that all sounds overwhelming, but it tastes amazing.  I need to travel to Turkey to get some real food though, they really know what they’re doing with these kebabs and such.  Anyway, it’s always a great late night snack.

Meal #26: Dinner

Roast beef Yorkshire pudding wrap, The Turf Tavern, Oxford, UK

This was my first trip to the famous Turf Tavern!  The very place that Bill Clinton did not inhale in while in college.  The Turf Tavern is a great little place, extremely hard to find, but really cool indeed.  I learned from Robbie and Cara that “Yorkshire pudding” isn’t a pudding at all, it’s the savory pancake-like dough.  The “pudding” was really soft and slightly chewy, amazing.  I covered it in delicious gravy and dipped every bite in perfectly spicy horseradish sauce.  To drink, I had an Old Rosey cider, something like 8% but still really tasty, unlike the “K” cider I bought the other day that was 8.6% and I was told it’s what tramps drink.  It was a truly great meal, shared with great friends.

Meal #25: Lunch

Prosciutto, cheese, tomato, basil, and mayo on artisan bread, Pret, Oxford, UK

I ate at Pret, again.  Sorry.  It’s so good and they believe in sustainability, local  food, and keeping preservatives/steroids/dyes/enhancers/etc out of the food.  They don’t have organic food, which kind of sucks, but all of their food is all-natural, which is the next best thing.  ALL of their packaging is recycled and recyclable!  I wish we had Pret A Manger in the US.

Oh yeah, and I ate a sandwich.  It was very good.  The bread, baked fresh daily, was crunchy and slightly salted.  The prosciutto was so smooth and also salty.  The tomatoes were fresh and sweet, and the basil, even though I normally don’t like basil so much, was a good addition to the party in my mouth.  The perfect amount of homemade mayonnaise tied everything together.  The sparkling apple was simple, sweet, and had real apple flavor, (probably all the apple juice they put in it.)  I’m so glad I found this place!  It will be hard for me to stay away from it.